Project Description

Intro FREE STATE Coming to this camp has been an eye opener with regards to managing conflict peacefully and treating women with respect. 1-3 NOVEMBER 2019
ATTENDEES: 90
CHAMP CAMP
HARRISMITH
- Siphesihle Hlongwane, Champion For Change

REPORT: 

Arriving at the beautiful Platberg Eco Park just outside Harrismith on Friday night the group displayed a mix of anxiety and scepticism but by early Saturday morning were fully committed and engaged with the process.

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  • The weekend consisted of a variety of challenging outdoor activities combined with group discussions about masculinity and GBV. The testimonies during the discussion sessions were very moving and some quite dramatic.

  • One of the men shared with his group that after the camp he had planned to go home and end the life of his ex-partner and the children. This was a watershed moment for him. As he sobbed, uncontrollably, men in the group rallied around him and held him. One of the senior community members offered for him to stay in his home while he mentored him and help with his healing.

  • Another man confessed to being violent to the point of breaking his girlfriend’s nose. She didn’t open a case because he managed to convince her that it was her fault. Now in light of all he had learnt on the camp, he reflected on the incident and was sorry for his actions. He realised that there was no excuse for him to abuse and be violent towards a woman.

  • These are just two of the many stories of transformation that took place in Harrismith, as men wrestled with issues of Fatherhood and Masculinity. A safer future for us all is on the horizon, as a result of this intervention.

  • The weekend consisted of a variety of challenging outdoor activities combined with group discussions about masculinity and GBV. The testimonies during the discussion sessions were very moving and some quite dramatic.

  • One of the men shared with his group that after the camp he had planned to go home and end the life of his ex-partner and the children. This was a watershed moment for him. As he sobbed, uncontrollably, men in the group rallied around him and held him. One of the senior community members offered for him to stay in his home while he mentored him and help with his healing.

  • Another man confessed to being violent to the point of breaking his girlfriend’s nose. She didn’t open a case because he managed to convince her that it was her fault. Now in light of all he had learnt on the camp, he reflected on the incident and was sorry for his actions. He realised that there was no excuse for him to abuse and be violent towards a woman.

  • These are just two of the many stories of transformation that took place in Harrismith, as men wrestled with issues of Fatherhood and Masculinity. A safer future for us all is on the horizon, as a result of this intervention.

WHAT I’M TAKING HOME FROM THIS CAMP TO MY COMMUNITY IS TO INITIATE GATHERINGS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO BE HELPING AND TALKING TO YOUNG BOYS, BECAUSE VIOLENCE IS INSTILLED IN ONE’S MIND FROM A YOUNG AGE AND NOT WHEN ONE IS OLD. SO THE BEAUTY OF THIS INITIATIVE WOULD BE FIGHTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE FROM A YOUNG AGE.

Mihla Nkosi

“A MAN WILL BOTTLE UP HIS ISSUES AND EVENTUALLY END UP BURSTING, AND DECIDE TO TAKE BOTH HIS LIFE AND HIS FAMILY’S.

Participant

A REAL MAN IS ONE THAT IS ABLE TO HUMBLE HIMSELF, ONE THAT PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN BEING A GOOD EXAMPLE AND MENTOR IN SOCIETY.

Khulekani Lishaba

AT THIS CAMP, A 45-YEAR OLD SHARED HOW VIOLENCE WAS INTRODUCED TO HIM AT A TENDER AGE AS HIS FATHER WOULD ABUSE HIS MOTHER IN HIS PRESENCE DAILY. AND HOW HE THEN TOOK THAT AS BEING A MAN AND PRACTICED IT IN HIS OWN MARRIAGE. SO IT IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE TO GO TEACH THE PRINCIPLES OF #NOEXCUSE AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE FROM A GRASS ROOTS LEVEL.

Mihla Nkosi

WHAT I’M TAKING HOME FROM THIS CAMP TO MY COMMUNITY IS TO INITIATE GATHERINGS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO BE HELPING AND TALKING TO YOUNG BOYS, BECAUSE VIOLENCE IS INSTILLED IN ONE’S MIND FROM A YOUNG AGE AND NOT WHEN ONE IS OLD. SO THE BEAUTY OF THIS INITIATIVE WOULD BE FIGHTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE FROM A YOUNG AGE.

Mihla Nkosi

“A MAN WILL BOTTLE UP HIS ISSUES AND EVENTUALLY END UP BURSTING, AND DECIDE TO TAKE BOTH HIS LIFE AND HIS FAMILY’S.

Participant

A REAL MAN IS ONE THAT IS ABLE TO HUMBLE HIMSELF, ONE THAT PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN BEING A GOOD EXAMPLE AND MENTOR IN SOCIETY.

Khulekani Lishaba

AT THIS CAMP, A 45-YEAR OLD SHARED HOW VIOLENCE WAS INTRODUCED TO HIM AT A TENDER AGE AS HIS FATHER WOULD ABUSE HIS MOTHER IN HIS PRESENCE DAILY. AND HOW HE THEN TOOK THAT AS BEING A MAN AND PRACTICED IT IN HIS OWN MARRIAGE. SO IT IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE TO GO TEACH THE PRINCIPLES OF #NOEXCUSE AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE FROM A GRASS ROOTS LEVEL.

Mihla Nkosi

We can fight and conquer gender-based violence if we unite as South Africans.

– Mxolisi Thwala, Champion For Change

WATCH A CLIP OF THE CAMP